Nightline Awareness Week: We’re Here To Listen

Nightline at Queen’s University Belfast

I don’t know how many of you reading this will be aware of the university service known as nightline, or brainwave here at Queens, recognised as QUB Nightline. So, lets run through the basic premise. Who are we? Essentially, we are a listening service for QUB students ran by QUB students. And, what exactly you may be wondering would people ring or text in to talk about? Simply, anything. We are a confidential and anonymous service, here to discuss anything that is bothering you or that is on your mind. We are here to listen to you be that over the phone or texting via the secure link on our social medias. When can you avail of QUB Nightline? We are open every Tuesday and Friday from 8pm-2am.

So, what it is like being a QUB Nightline volunteer? I won’t lie, ninety percent of the time, I LOVE it, the comradery amongst all our volunteers is special. Whilst we are a listening service, we are also listeners for each other. The craic on shift is always a guarantee and we are extremely fond of each other and, although we’ll never know who they are, our callers! Any difficult topics discussed in calls are always comforted by support from fellow volunteers, we make sure to look after our own volunteer wellbeing otherwise how can we be of any help to our caller’s wellbeing?

The thing about anonymity of course is that it works both ways, the service wouldn’t have integrity if it didn’t. So, we never know who a caller is, and callers never know who we are. And of course, no (or very few) of our fellow QUB peers and close friends know that we are involved in this service. Which, you know, can be tricky at times, both practically and emotionally. Since binging Spooks over lockdown, the idea of multiple identities, cover stories and even, to a tiny extent, a double life has revolved around in my head. I look at how the show portrays our ruthless world, characters as slick and steely as Tom Quinn and Erin Watts ultimately destroyed by their moral insecurity. If I feel this way, why do I stick with QUB Nightline and this double life? Well, as much as I hate this term, its for the greater good and as Quinn, Watts and co would testify, a lot of the time, its fun, a tad thrilling, cheery and an all-round excellent life experience. Plus, as per chief spook Harry Pearce, we have all obtained memorable Nightline lingo.

And so, why am I writing this article now? Well, next week from Monday the 15th of November, it is Nightline Awareness Week. In the UK, nightlines were only founded in 2006, the first service officially operating was in York University. It wasn’t until almost a decade later that QUB Nightline originated in late 2015. So my contribution to NAW is hopefully to have informed and helped anyone who has read this, about what Nightline is and to reiterate that we are here for any students to talk about anything at anytime between 8pm and 2am on Tuesdays and Fridays. We’re here to listen. The charity Pure Mental are another young people led cornerstone for mental health support along with many others emerging in Northern Ireland. Nightline is here to listen; I hope you’ll call if you need us.

Some general wellbeing tips:

  • If you’re stressed, go to your happy place. Whether that’s a warm comforting shower, a refreshing run in the rain or comfort food, do what you need to feel relaxed
  • Have confidence in yourself, YOU’VE GOT THIS!
  • Try and get into a healthy, reasonably consistent pattern of good sleep
  • Remember that you’re human and that being a student is not always easy, stress is normal!
  • Identify what it is that’s causing you any anxiety and talk to someone. This is what QUB Nightline is here for if you don’t want to talk about it with anyone you know!

Published by The Gown Queen's University Belfast

The Gown has provided respected, quality and independent student journalism from Queen's University, Belfast since its 1955 foundation, by Dr. Richard Herman. Having had an illustrious line of journalists and writers for almost 70 years, that proud history is extremely important to us. The Gown is consistent in its quest to seek and develop the talents of aspiring student writers.

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